Can a defendant be punished for two crimes arising from a single indivisible course of conduct?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from People v. Mendoza, F073360 (Cal. App. 2018):

" 'Penal Code section 654 prohibits punishment for two crimes arising from a single indivisible course of conduct. [Citation.] If all of the crimes were merely incidental to, or were the means of accomplishing or facilitating one objective, a defendant may be punished only once. [Citation.] If, however, a defendant had several independent criminal objectives, he may be punished for each crime committed in pursuit of each objective, even though the crimes shared common acts or were parts of an otherwise indivisible course of conduct. [Citation.] The defendant's intent and objective are factual questions for the trial court, and we will uphold its ruling on these matters if it is supported by substantial evidence. [Citation.]' [Citations.]" (People v. Bui (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 1002, 1015, italics added.)

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